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AGC Glass Europe recycles around 1,000,000 tonnes of cullet per year, saving about 1,150,000 tonnes of raw material and 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

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We are actively involved in several projects to improve collection and reuse of cullet in our plants, such as:

  • redefining the flows of cullet in order to reduce transport distances between the source, the recycler and the float plant
  • teaching our people to sort the cullet efficiently so as to recycle it better
  • increasing the range of materials that we are able to load into our furnaces
  • etc.
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However, the cullet used in our own production process has to meet stringent specifications, and so we also actively seek out alternative routes for cullet that we cannot recycle in our own products. 

 

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In the Netherlands for instance we helped to develop a national system of collecting flat glass from construction and demolition waste. This cullet is now reused instead of being sent to landfill. A great part of it is reused in other glass production (for bottles, fibreglass, foam glass, etc.), but there are many other potential applications such as reflective road surfacing, golf bunker sand, aquarium ornamentation, water filtration systems, construction aggregate and so on.

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Other types of waste

Depending on the activities, various types of waste are produced by our plants. These include used refractories, sludge from waste water treatment systems, waste oil from maintenance, ordinary trash from administration activities, etc. In line with the objective of avoiding landfill, for each production site we have implemented an approach based on prevention, reuse, recycling and incineration, in consecutive steps.

We have succeeded in recycling various types of waste in addition to glass cullet. For instance most of the recycled sludge originating from waste water treatment is now recycled in cement production.